Kerry urges move to prevent military suicides

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson, both Democrats, have sent a bipartisan letter signed by nearly three dozen other members of Congress urging a proposal meant to help prevent military suicides.

The letter urges leaders of the Senate and House Armed Services committees to back a House amendment to the defense authorization bill. It would allow military commanders and mental health professionals to talk with service men and women about the personal firearms they own and encourage them to store them safely in a military facility or using a gunlock.

Kerry said military suicides as of June were up 18 percent over the same period the previous year. He said that's "a wakeup call" that some need more help with "invisible wounds."

Johnson said the proposal isn't an attempt to limit gun rights, but just "common sense."

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